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Thread: FR: différent - place de l'adjectif

  1. #1
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    FR: différent - place de l'adjectif

    Hi,

    I understand that the adjective 'différent' can be used before and after the noun in French. Can somebody explain to me what the difference in meaning is?

    Thanks

    Moderator note: Multiple threads have been merged to create this one.
    Last edited by Maître Capello; 31st October 2012 at 12:02 PM. Reason: note

  2. #2
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    Re: FR: adjective 'different' before and after the noun

    I would say before the noun, it means "various", "diverse" and after the noun, it properly means "different".

    J'ai vu différents modèles de jupes.
    I saw various kinds of shirts.

    J'ai choisi un modèle différent.
    I choose a different model.

    I'm afraid that's not always true, but more or less, (let's say 90 %) it is right.

  3. #3
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    Re: FR: adjective 'different' before and after the noun

    Thanks, that makes sense.

    SO what would be the difference between saying

    de differents enfants

    and des enfants differents?

    Thanks

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    Re: FR: adjective 'différent' before and after the noun

    You need context to understand.

    So, I take some examples :

    J'ai besoin de l'avis de différents enfants pour savoir si ce livre leur plaira.
    I need the opinion of several children ... (more than one or two...)

    J'ai besoin de l'avis d'enfants différents...
    I need the opinion of different childrent...(children coming from different contries, different social level, etc...)

  5. #5
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    FR: différent - place de l'adjectif

    Hi! I was wondering when the word "différent" is placed before or after nouns? I've seen different things in different cases, like ces différents besoins, les différentes raisons, but les cultures différentes. Is there a way to tell?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Re: différent,e placement

    "il y a des raisons / besoins / cultures / différents (es) dans le monde"
    and
    "les différents (es) raisons / besoins / cultures qui expliquent cela ..."

    is it clearer ?

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    Re: différent,e placement

    Thanks! Hmmm.. but is there a more general rule? I'm still not very clear about this...

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    Re: différent,e placement

    of course, an example is not a rule, but let's say that if a sentence begins with
    "il y a" the adjective is after the noun, if the noun starts the sentence, the adjective is then before the word
    I had never thought of that, and can only explain it this way
    wait for an expert in grammar ! :=)

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    Re: différent,e placement

    Could it be that it's:

    un/une/des + noun + différent

    and

    le/la/les + différent + noun

    ?
    Last edited by Maître Capello; 21st April 2015 at 4:36 PM. Reason: unnecessary citation of post removed

  10. #10
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    Re: différent,e placement

    I quite don't understand your question

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    Re : FR: différent (placement)

    Hello,
    To me, the meaning is not exactly the same when you change the position of "différent".
    "Dans ce pays cohabitent des personnes de différentes cultures." the meaning is close to: "plusieurs cultures" ; "différent" could mean something as "several".

    "Ces pays ont des cultures différentes." the meaning of "différent" is close to: "not the same".

    But these differences between the two positions are quite small and certainly not always true...

    I hope it helps...
    TitTornade, aka Lil'Tornado !

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    Re: FR: différent (placement)

    TitTornade explains it as I've always understood it. I find that différents before the noun often translates as various.

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    Re: différent,e placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Micia93 View Post
    I quite don't understand your question
    I was just wondering if différent went after the noun when the indefinite article is used, and before the noun when the definite article is used, as that's what your examples seem to show

    But the other responses are probably more helpful

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    Re: différent,e placement

    Différent(e)s is less likely to mean various/plusieurs after the indefinite article. Some various/several cultures? Quelques différentes/plusieurs cultures?

    If you mean "different"/"not the same", I imagine you could say "les cultures différentes qu'on a mentionnées" (the [very] different cultures we were talking about).

    N'est-ce pas?
    Last edited by Maître Capello; 21st April 2015 at 4:36 PM. Reason: unnecessary citation of previous post removed

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    Re : Re: différent,e placement

    I don't think the article plays a role :
    "les différentes cultures que nous avons mentionnées..." = "the various cultures we were talking about..."
    "les cultures différentes que nous avons mentionnées..." = "the (very) different cultures we were talking about..."

    But the differences are really narrow, I guess...
    Last edited by Maître Capello; 21st April 2015 at 4:37 PM. Reason: idem
    TitTornade, aka Lil'Tornado !

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    Re: différent,e placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Forero View Post
    Différent(e)s is less likely to mean various/plusieurs after the indefinite article.
    That's right. In fact, in such cases, différents functions as a determiner and the indefinite article is impossible:
    De(s) différentes cultures ont été mentionnées.
    Différentes cultures ont été mentionnées.
    See also the following thread:
    de différents X / différents X

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    FR: buildings of different eras

    I am writing a french oral and would like to know if you would say "bâtiments de différentes époques" or "bâtiments de époques différentes". Google translate says "bâtiments de différentes époques" but I don't trust this.

  18. #18
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    Re: different eras

    Les francophones peuvent me corriger, mais il me paraît que...
    If you want to stress the fact that the periods in question all differ from each other, you would place différentes behind the noun, but if you just mean various ages, then it would probably go before it.

  19. #19
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    Re: FR: buildings of different eras

    If you mean various, the adjective should precede the noun; if you mean different, it should follow it.

    différentes époques = various eras
    époques différentes = different eras

  20. #20
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    Re: FR: buildings of different eras

    Quote Originally Posted by LorenD View Post
    I am writing a french oral and would like to know if you would say "bâtiments de différentes époques" or "bâtiments de époques différentes". Google translate says "bâtiments de différentes époques" but I don't trust this.
    Bâtiments de différentes époques, but anyway bâtiments d'époques différentes is also possible, provided you don't forget the elision of e in de before a word (here, époques) beginning with a vowel.

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